10 June 2016 by Published in: Uncategorized, Writing 20 comments

Five years ago, I pressed publish on my first self-pubbed novel, Fatal Exchange.

That went by fast.

And now, as I’m preparing to write the fourth in The Day After Never series, the final installment in that arc, I realize I’m closing in on 50 novels in 60 months.

That’s shocking, even to me.

Then again, go big or go home, right? You’re only on the planet for a blink, so if you’re going to pursue a passion, might as well go all in.

On the release schedule for 2016 are The Goddess Legacy, which is a book I’m particularly proud of, and is probably my best novel of its kind to date, The Day After Never 4, and a JET. I may sneak in another one if I get bored, but you never know – I’m supposed to be slowing my pace.

That’s gone well so far.

Thanks to one and all for continuing to support my scribbling – it means a lot to me to be able to do this for a living. Actually, in this economy, it means a lot to be able to do anything for a living, but don’t get me started.

The business has changed to the point it’s hardly recognizable, but one consistent trend is that it’s getting harder to gain visibility with each passing quarter. I expect that to continue.

Having said that, nobody owes anyone a living, and if you want to write books for your dinner, it will be tough, as it has been throughout history. But every year there will be breakthroughs, surprises, and hits out of left field, and every year underserved niches will see authors coming in and delivering product voracious readers want.

Meanwhile, I will continue to write books I would enjoy reading, and thank providence things have worked out so far.

Maybe it’s the second 50 novels that will do the trick!

 

 

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Comments

  1. robert bucchianeri
    Fri 10th Jun 2016 at 8:11 am

    Your accomplishments are an inspiration. If I can get on pace to produce books at half the rate that you have I’ll consider myself fabulously productive. Good to have a moving target, a sub two hour marathoner to doggedly attempt to keep pace with…

    Reply
  2. Fri 10th Jun 2016 at 10:12 am

    Keep em coming. I’ve bought and read them all and want to keep buying/reading.

    Reply
    • ken010107  –  Fri 10th Jun 2016 at 11:22 am

      What Kim said, whenever there ready for preorder I order.

      Reply
  3. Fri 10th Jun 2016 at 10:28 am

    CONGRATS RUSSELL, We’ve had countless sleepless nights enjoying your stories. You’ve inspired and shared with so many of us. Thanks for JET, and what it has done to whatever spare time I used to have… haha, gone… Going on to write 4th and 5th novella this time for Toby, and polishing and publishing things that have been on the shelf for a few years.
    For me, it’s my passion also. And yes, some of us will break out and be able to make a living at what we love.
    You are the inspiration. And that’s a very special role, both generous and well deserved.
    Keep them coming. And enjoy life… and if you ever hop over to Vallarta for “research” would love to meet you. Take care of yourself.

    Reply
  4. Zarayna
    Fri 10th Jun 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Many congratulations – am raising a cup of tea to your achievements.

    Hopefully, the next five years will be as fulfilling for you and enjoyable for us as the last five.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Fri 10th Jun 2016 at 8:08 pm

    A truly amazing milestone, marked by incredible smarts and productivity.

    Keep ’em coming, Russell; we the readers are out there. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Janet
    Sat 11th Jun 2016 at 9:35 am

    Well, it isn’t like you have anything better to do is it? Lying on the beach, drinking tequila just gives you a sunburn and a hangover. It’s a much better thing, I think, to bring joy (fear, consternation, terror) to your loyal and hungry readers. Congrats on your well deserved success. You keep writing, I’ll keep reading. ( I have a 6 month TP supply but am working on it. ) re DAN Purgatory Road.

    Reply
  7. Wed 15th Jun 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Well done on an awesome achievement! I first picked up one of your books last year after hearing a podcast interview with you. Love the Jet series. Just finished reading Fatal Exchange and really enjoyed the story. Looking forward to reading more of your work and hopefully getting faster and better at writing my own.

    Reply
  8. Colin
    Sun 19th Jun 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Just finished the first in the JET series. Thoroughly readable and enjoyable. Looking forward to reading the next one.

    Reply
  9. Mon 20th Jun 2016 at 10:09 am

    You’re an inspiration to us all, Russell! Keep ’em coming!

    FYI as fast as you turn out books I think you’re a damned liar about how frequently you drink tequila and hang out with loose women. Or maybe you write best when you’ve got a little headache. I think it’s the former. You’re a big talker but when it comes down to it, I think you’d rather write than drink. (Or maybe it’s more profitable!)

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 22nd Jun 2016 at 3:15 pm

      Well, drinking tequila and loose women are not necessarily exclusive from being a bestselling author. Which is why I signed up for the job in the first place!

      Reply
  10. Tue 21st Jun 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Congrats RB!
    50 in 60 is awesome.
    Glad you plan to keep at it.

    Reply
  11. Robert Jones
    Mon 18th Jul 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Russel,

    Almost a book a month for five years…holy Moses! I can’t argue that you are probably the best in the self publishing world in terms of keeping a consistent quality along with a speed that is beyond imagining in terms of keeping our eye site as well as your sanity in tact. And yet, you say it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay visible with every assign quarter–even with such a body of work. That poses a large question I would love to hear your answer to.

    One has to love what they do in order to keep such a grueling pace. Coming out of a different place in the entertainment industry, I know what such a pace can do to you over time. And also how the business of it can be both frustrating and draining at times. So my hat’s off to you on that score.

    So much of what I am reading seems to be about speed though from so many of the Amazon gurus who are still trying to figure out craft for themselves. And many newbies come in blasting away with word count believing this is the foundation for making money in self publishing. I’m not sure that’s a clever approach if you have little or no knowledge about craft. And I would say that an understanding of craft is a main ingredient to your consistency and the ability to move forward at such a pace. Because you have a direction, a target to shoot for. And a road map is bound to get you where you’re going faster than driving blindly.

    I believe what one person can do, others can certainly emulate. But as individuals, we all have certain things that go into our make up that 99 out of a 100 people–even if they experienced the same things, would not perceive the same way.

    Just the same, I would love to read more post on what Russel Blake ate that fed his appetite and fueled his process. The good, the bad, the victories and the struggles. Because hearing those things inspire me…and what can I say, I’m selfish when it comes to eating those dishes 🙂

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 18th Jul 2016 at 4:31 pm

      I’m not particularly fast. I make up for that by writing long hours. My typical day runs 10-12 hours with some breaks, out of which I might see 5-7K usable words. I’ve written countless blogs on my process – of outlining, of production goals, of perspective, of differentiation – so no need to go into that again. It’s all part of the public record. But I will say that, all things being equal, someone who can muster 10 hours a day and has reasonable mastery of craft, who is writing in a genre large enough to support them, and is writing series, stands a far better chance than someone who can peck out a few hundred or thousand words a day in their off hours. Why anyone believes they can compete with full time effort by a committed and skilled competitor, by working part time, is beyond me. And the marketplace is competitive, in spite of what some “marathon, not a sprint” adherents comfort themselves with. It’s becoming more so every day as it matures. That’s how business works. In the beginning, everyone who can hold a shovel can find work digging ditches, but as more join the ranks, jobs become more selective of whom they hire, until ultimately most find themselves with no work as the business matures and only a few players dominate the ditch-digging industry. We’re all of us ditch diggers, mining literary nuggets, and the lion’s share of us won’t ever get a decent day’s pay for doing so. That’s just how it is. Always has been, always will be.

      Reply
  12. Robert Jones
    Mon 18th Jul 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks…doing some research into your archives to see what I might add to my own process.

    Reply
    • Zarayna  –  Mon 18th Jul 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Hope you don’t mind my commenting, but I enjoyed your exchange with Mr Blake.
      Perhaps I can just say that I imagine that Mr Blake is a member of a very tiny minority. Even allowing for his application, self-discipline, strategizing et cetera, I doubt there are many creatives who are capable of being consistently creative for such a long period without burning out. I am in awe.
      I only say this because I am sure you have your own talents and enthusiasms and will learn much from Mr Blake, but you’ll have your own path to travel. Just please don’t get down-hearted if you can’t emulate your hero in every respect.
      May I wish you every success and, most of all, that you enjoy the whole process

      Reply
  13. Robert Jones
    Tue 19th Jul 2016 at 4:42 am

    Hi Zarayna,

    I don’t mind your commenting at all. As far as emulating Russell in every aspect…not sure that’s possible. But we have to look at what successful folks are doing in their various aspects if we are to learn what works and why.

    I’ve known many freelancers who keep such a pace in other aspects of the entertainment industry. I did it myself for eleven years in another field. Long hours.

    On the other hand, I’ve known quite a few people who made a living publishing through standard publishers. Different world. But craft is the one thing both worlds have in common in terms of success. With the ever changing world of self publishing, I’m looking for common ground to build on.

    At the end of the day, most sink or swim on their own merits. Know your strengths and put your guts into the process. Right now, I can’t write full time, so building a body of work is my biggest hurdle. Because if I self publish a single book without some type of back up, I’m going to be lost at sea until I can finish the next one. And my previous job as a freelancer taught me to work a bit ahead in publishing. To have something ready to fill in the gap if there should come a time when you can’t meet your deadline.

    Reply
    • Zarayna  –  Tue 19th Jul 2016 at 4:55 am

      Hi Robert,
      Very nice of you to reply – thank you.
      I can see you have, or will soon have, a viable plan – that’s half the battle.
      I look forward to somehow following your adventure – do share your experiences if possible. How exciting it all is!
      In the meantime, all good wishes.

      Reply
  14. Robert Jones
    Wed 20th Jul 2016 at 11:02 am

    And to you, Zarayna.

    Reply

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